Approximately 98 percent of children in the United States stood on the curbside waiting for the school bus this year.
There’s the five-year-old girl starting kindergarten. She takes that first step onto the bus, with dreams of becoming a teacher. Her future holds endless opportunity.
There’s the mother that watches her. As her daughter takes that first step onto the bus, she beams with pride thinking of her future. What will she learn? Who will she become?
Four years ago, mothers and daughters in Syria shared similar experiences. Over 97 percent of children were enrolled in school before crisis broke out in Syria. They stood on the curbside, waiting to take that first step in pursuit of bold dreams.
A lot has changed.
Now, only 38 percent of Syrian school-aged children are in school (UNHCR, 2014). Over 215,000 school-aged refugees have flooded into Jordan, straining the formal education system. Without access to education, child labor and early marriage become desperate options—for many, the only options.
For the five-year-old Syrian refugee in Jordan, dreams have been replaced with uncertainty and fear. Her mother now asks not what will she learn, but will she even have the option to learn?
Sometimes, one crisis results in another. In this case, war in Syria has created a widespread educational crisis throughout the Middle East. It’s a crisis that threatens a generation of youth.
And so, we respond. We take action.
Questscope’s alternative education programs bridge the gap for out of school refugee youth, creating options where there were none before. In 2013-2014, over 1,400 youth participated in our non-formal and informal education programs.
We find ourselves in a place and time when our response to the educational crisis is critical to the future of a five-year-old Syrian girl whose experiences have deprived her of self-worth. For her, education means community, friendship and dignity. Our response is critical to the future of a generation of Syrian youth, who have the will to rebuild a nation but need the resources to do it. For them, education means a second chance for peace, for hope and for a future.
Watch this to learn how Questscope is responding to the educational crisis through non-formal education (NFE).